Saturday, January 8, 2011

Clearwater World Championships - November 13th, 2010

The road to Clearwater was long and once I got into October/November training very lonely! It’s the time of the year that most peeps are done, and enjoying their offseason. The weather is getting cold, it starts to get dark way too early in the day, and getting quality workouts in outside becomes a challenge. It’s especially since I can’t seem to keep my toes warm on the bike once temps dip below 50! Ya, I know – I am a wuss, but riding with frozen blocks and trying to put out any sort of power is near impossible. Regardless of the unfavorable weather conditions, my prep for Clearwater was awesome! I had little over 2 months to get faster in the water, on the bike, and running! My peak month was October when I put in over 30,000 yards of swimming, 430 miles on the bike, and 110 running miles!

It was also the same month, I lost my job, which allowed me to train like a pro and added a bit more stress into my life! As someone who is not a U.S citizen and does not have a green card, I only have so many days to be unemployed, and find another job before I would have to take my ass back to where I came from! Piece of cake, right? I mean, why couldn’t I find a job in the booming economy that we have been enjoying the last few years? I usually do not stress, and take things as they come, but I must admit, I was a bit stressed with this crazy number looming over my head. I really couldn’t imagine packing up my life of almost 11 years, and going back home! I mean, it would be awesome to be close to my family again, but oh so hard to leave ALL my friends, and my life here in the U.S. However, things happen for a reason, and this was just another obstacle standing in my way. The positive was, I now had more time to train, and more time to sleep! My life consisted of training, and looking for a new job! November 13th, couldn’t come fast enough!

I made it to Cleawater on Wednesday, November 10th, with enough time to enjoy the beautiful sunny and warm weather that was last seen in New England back in August. Hello sun, hello heat, and hello ocean! I registered and picked up all my goodies on Wednesday afternoon. The registration site was still pretty quiet, but you could already feel the special energy this place had. I swear most people we saw walking around that day were not speaking English! Hello World Championships! I probably should have switched to speaking Czech to fit in a bit better! :) … aaaaaaaaaaaaand czech out my race number below! So cool!

I couldn’t believe I was here!

Thursday, and Friday rolled around and the atmosphere was electric! By Thursday afternoon, the small town of Clearwater turned into a spot with the fittest athletes in the world! I mean talking about being in shape!! I swear some of these folks workout 24/7! It was bit intimidating to say the least, but I also came here in the best shape of my life, so I didn’t really get those rocking bodies get to me! I worked my little butt off, and I was ready to race! Saturday morning just couldn’t come fast enough.

I picked up my bike on Thursday morning from tri bike transport, and I decided that I needed to put new tires on. Me and my coach Jorge talked about switching them, and after a closer inspection on Thursday I decided I was going to be better off with the new tires rather than risking a flat. Getting a flat on a super fast bike course like this would cause me the race. Plus I really suck at changing flats so my race was really going to be over with. My friend Dan who is also coached by Jorge along with his buddy from “Blue” bikes helped me to change them. More like, they did it while I supervised them, ha! Thanks guys! :) I went for a quick ride, got my rear brakes adjusted one more time by the guys at the Felt tent, and the black “tornado” was ready to go.

I also went for a quick run, and my first ocean swim EVER! Yikes! I was not a fan, and I started to get nervous as hell! I swam one more time on Friday, rode about 8 miles of the course with my friend Stephen and it was time to czech in. 2 transition bags, and the bike. I wrote my name all over both transition bags so I could find them better during the race, racked my bike and walked through the transition area about thousand times visualizing race day! You should see the bikes in this transition area – OMG!!!!!!! These peeps were not kidding! ALL these bikes, and I mean ALL of them looked FAST and EXPENSIVE!!! I finally left the transition area, got some food in my belly, got my breakfast and nutrition ready for race day, and off to bed I went. I read my race report about 10 more times, but I really had it memorized by now! I know, I am crazy!
My alarm went off at 3:45am! If you are interested what happened on race day, I highly encourage you to read on! I had an absolute blast the entire time – okay, almost the entire time, ha and you can read all about it by clicking on the link below or by going to my 2010 race report section.

For those that are just looking for a quick summary, here is my race in numbers, which also includes pro’s:

Swim: 37:18 - 53/88 in my division, 234/570 overall female (Sooo slow, but I was really just glad I survived – it was not a happy ocean)

T1: 2:58 - 17/88 in my division, 72/570 overall female

Bike: 2:25:08 – 23.15 Mph - 12/88 in my division, 56/570 overall female (I would be very curious how many cheaters beat me, but I raced a clean race)

T2: 2:06 - 8/88 in my division, 14/570 overall female

Run: 1:38:35 – 7:32 pace - 24/88 in my division, 78/570 overall female (Time includes my PP stop – it really could have been ugly)

My Overall Time: 4:46:04 – I finished 18th in my AG, 82/570 females including pro's (top 14%) , and 62/550 not including pro's (top 11%)

For those interested in more numbers, my prep, my race nutrition, and more technical info from my coach, czech out his report – a.k.a Coaches Race Report. As he says, it may give some of you ideas on how to set up your own racing and fueling plans for the seasons to come.

To summarize Clearwater, I had a great experience and I absolutely loved the race! I felt like everyone was treated like a pro, and it was awesome to race against the best! I do wish however that everyone raced clean, but that’s unfortunately out of my control. I am super happy with my race! I raced my own race, I got a new PR on the bike and the run, and I finished my 1st season of racing at this distance with a PR of 4:46:04 which is more important to me than my top 20 finish! I can’t wait for next year, and my return to the Worlds except this time on a HILLY HILLY course in Vegas! :)

Here is a little slide show from race day:

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